From Fasting to Feasting: Celebrating Wholeness on Sukkot

The fasting on Yom Kippur prepares us for the feasting on Sukkot. The abstention from the physical pleasures of this world on Yom Kippur is only meant to heal us from the sickness of overindulgence. But, once we take control of ourselves and free ourselves from our sins, addictions and obsessions, then we are free to enjoy the pleasures of this world on Sukkot.

On Yom Kippur we leave this world and experience union with G-d through transcending nature and abstaining from physical pleasures. However, on Sukkot we experience union with G-d in nature and through physical pleasures. This is the journey of holiness.

The epitome of holiness is expressed when we experience no conflict between the physical and the spiritual, the natural and the supernatural, the eternal and the temporal. We simply enjoy perfect harmony, synergy and wholeness.
This truth is clearly expressed in the Commandment to dwell in the sukkah. It is one of the very few Commandments that we do with our entire body and we fulfill it by merely living, eating, drinking and conversing in the sukkah. We even fulfill the Commandment by simply sleeping there.

After the hard work during the days of penitence we can now relax and experience how our everyday natural life is immersed in the truth of G-d’s all embracing presence. The sukkah teaches us that we are always and completely one with G-d even when we are tending to our mundane needs of eating and sleeping. Our choice is to realize this truth and celebrate it.